Men’s Underwear Types: Briefs & Boxer Briefs & Boxers
It might be the first thing you put on in the morning, but it’s probably the one piece of apparel that most men put the least attention towards: underwear. The majority of men think it’s just something to cover your junk and little else, but those few forward thinkers understand that underwear doesn’t just add a layer of comfort and appeal to your ensemble, it can also impress the ladies.
Now that you’re a little more into the idea of underwear, there’s been a debate raging for years: which type is best? Well, there are three main men’s underwear types. Traditionally this is between briefs and boxers, but recently a hybrid competitor has entered the arena known as boxer briefs. The answer isn’t straightforward because it all comes down to you.
After trying a lot of underwear, boxer briefs are the clear winner for ME (and according to this study 53% of men prefer boxer briefs). Briefs get everything bunched up and boxers don’t keep everything in place.
Which do you think came first, briefs or boxers? You probably think briefs, but boxers were actually invented in 1925, a whole 10 years before briefs. They were created by Jacob Golomb (the founder of Everlast). This was met with immediate popularity, but briefs quickly eclipsed them in 1935. They were based on short swimsuits worn by French men. Since that time, the two have rivaled in popularity, going back and forth and constantly at war.
It wasn’t until 1990 that John Varvatos, then head of Calvin Klein’s menswear design team, created a hybrid pair known as the boxer brief. Tight like briefs and longer like boxers, this has been known as the stylish and practical choice for choosy men.
Three Men’s Underwear Types
Your underwear should look good and be great at accentuating your package, but at the end of the day what you should really focus on is comfort. In general, boxers and boxer briefs are considered more comfortable, but all three have their own place.
Boxers are relatively open and thus allow a lot of airflow, which is cooling and comfortable. However, this also allows them to ride up your leg, which constricts the surrounding area. Boxers are best for walking, leisure and just being relaxed.
Boxer Briefs, being the hybrid, give you the best of both worlds. Since they are somewhat tight, they fair much better against intense exercise than boxers. They also allow some airflow unlike briefs, and they fit best with suits and formal wear because they do not create a seam. Perhaps the only downside is that the fly can be a little hard to navigate initially, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough. Check out my best boxer briefs guide, where I rank the top boxer briefs.
Briefs may not be the staple of comfort, but they make up for it by being incredibly versatile and efficient. They rarely bunch up like boxers, but they can give you a wedgie if they ride up. They work with most clothes and exercise routines, and there are different rises to work with your apparel and preferences.
Now you’ve gotta lay everything bare and just consider the look and style of your underwear. Which pair looks best? Most men would agree that boxer briefs are the stylish choice for any occasion. They’re aggressive in a confident way, accentuate your package and they hug your body just perfectly. There are a massive assortment of designs to choose from, and they work with a variety of body shapes.
Next up are boxers. Though not quite as sexy as boxer briefs, boxers are loose and fun. It’s easier to get them off, and the easy access fly is both inviting and simple to maneuver around. There are many designs and colors, and they just scream excitement. Since they don’t hug your every crevice like the other two choices, they are a better fit for those who are a little out of shape (but they look good if you got plenty of muscle).
Last up is briefs. There have been stabs at making briefs sexy, and they definitely can be, but the requirements are a little steep for most men. Unless you have a huge package and a body like Adonis, they just aren’t as flattering as the other two. Not only that, but something is very boyish about them. Now if you’re going for a boyish look, which definitely works for some men, then this is the perfect choice. Otherwise, save them for those days you have to be practical and versatile, not sexy.
Who’s the winner? It really comes down to your needs. Briefs are versatile, cheap and still quite popular, but a little boyish for the bedroom. Boxers are airy and comfortable while still being attractive, but they can feel awful when they bunch up. Boxer briefs are the stylish choice for sexy men who want to feel good, but they don’t allows as much airflow as boxers and the best pairs tend to be quite expensive.
So, what’s your priority? After you figure that out, the rest is easy. All three men’s underwear types of warred in terms of popularity with a victor only being decided temporarily before another underwear type takes it down, so it’s all up to your specific needs.